UK commits £1B to chips, strikes Japan deal - Mobile World Live

UK commits £1B to chips, strikes Japan deal

19 MAY 2023
Image of a chip mimicking the UK national flag in a circuit board

The UK government fleshed out details of a new strategy aimed at boosting its semiconductor sector through an investment of £1 billion over the next decade, as well as agreeing an R&D collaboration with Japan.

Dubbed the National Semiconductor Strategy, the UK government stated it will plough £1 billion into improving access to infrastructure, power more R&D and up international cooperation, with up to £200 million of the fund spent between 2023 and 2025.

The investment will also be used to help smaller domestic companies access prototyping, tools and business support.

Notably, the sum is significantly lower than the $52 billion US Chips Act or the $43 billion European Chips Act, which offer subsidies to boost their respective chip industries.

However, both of those acts aim to encourage companies to build fabrication plants, which is not the UK government’s aim.

Instead, the UK wants to work in tandem with industry to commercialise products from laboratory to market, and focuses on three strategic areas where it believes it has an advantage in the sector. These include semiconductor design, cutting-edge compound semiconductors and a “world-leading” R&D ecosystem, supported by domestic universities.

On a longer-term basis, the country’s battle plan aims to grow the domestic sector, mitigate the risk of supply chain disruptions and protect national security.

In addition to the agreement, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a semiconductor partnership with the Japanese government, part of the broader Hiroshima Accord pact which aims for closer ties in technology, economy, security and energy between the countries.

The collaboration will focus on delivering R&D cooperation, skill exchanges and improving supply chains. Initially, the UK’s Research and Innovation department will work with Japan’s Science and Technology agency on a joint £2 million investment in 2024, to support fundamental technologies in the field.

“Our new strategy focuses our efforts on where our strengths lie, in areas like research and design, so we can build our competitive edge on the global stage,” said Sunak.



Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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